Why does my cat scratch at mirrors?

I've been scouring the Internet to find out why my cat scratches mirrors, and the only general consensus I can find is "He thinks it's another cat." Sorry, but I have to disagree. My cat hates other cats, as I have learned after many visits to my parents', my sister-in-law's, and the vet. Yet when he paws at the mirror, he looks like he's doing reps at the gym.

My fiance and I tease him by saying, "You can't reach Narnia that way!" -- but seriously, is there a Cat Whisperer who can tell us why he does this?

Asked by Member 871456 on Sep 13th 2011 Tagged mirrors, cat, paw, claw, scratch, scratching, clawing, pawing in Behavior & Training
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Izadore (Izzie)

Honestly, he DOES think it's another cat. The "cat in the mirror" is not threatening him. He picks up no odors from this "other cat" and the "other cat" is not acting aggressively toward him, so he doesn't feel the need to attack. When he sees a "real other cat", he picks up on scents and body language from the real cat. I'd be willing to bet that if he hissed and swatted into the mirror, he would think the "other cat" was provoking an attack and act accordingly.

Izadore (Izzie) answered on 9/14/11. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


I have 10 cats and I can honestly tell you that ALL cats do strange and unexplainable things. Lucy digs. She gets in laundry baskets and the bathtub and digs like she's trying to get someplace. She doesn't use her claws. She just paws at it furiously like a dog burying a bone. She also does this to doors, cabinets, random places on the wall and sometimes even the mirror. I do not know what she's thinking. She seems to just be having fun. But if I tried to figure out all of their quirks, it would be a full time job.

Lucy answered on 9/14/11. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer

Miss Peach

I currently have 10 cats and have always had a big feline family. I have ONE cat that does the same thing as your cat, and she is the only one here who does it. I have never had a cat that did that before (I have heard of cats doing this, but I hadn't ever had one that did it). Her brother does not do it. She does not think it's another cat because she also does this on windows (if the window is open, she doesn't bother the screen). It looks to me like she wants to get into the "other room" (or outside) but can't figure out how so she scratches the surface to try to get through it. You just have a kitty that has a strange habit. The cat I have that scratches at the mirrors also "swims" in the breeze from a fan if I hold her in the air current. Her brother doesn't do that either. Like people, cats are all different, and while they have a lot in common with other cats (ex: the love of boxes), they do have their own quirks and habits.

Miss Peach answered on 9/14/11. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer